RPN Dragoon (ACR-1906)

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The Panagaean Navy did not have the reserve of older ships that could be used a Training ships, so first class ships needed to have a multi-role design to cover this shortfall. These two ships were a part of this. They were designed with a Cadet/Training deck on the upper deck. This kept the 6" casemate guns at the main deck level. The casemate guns were washed out in heavy weather and when the ship was trying to make best speed in even moderate seas. The Dragoon class would be the last ships with the casemates at that level.

Despite that flaw, the ships were well liked in service and probably logged more sea time with their training duties than other general ships of the fleet. 1914, with the Glorious and Skirmisher, the Squadron chased Admiral von Spee's cruisers all over the Pacific. Once the Falkland Island Battle had sunk von Spee's ships, the four ships were ordered north to join the Grand Fleet. Dragoon and Hussar joined the 2nd Cruiser Squadron with other Royal Navy Armoured cruisers. They were a part of the scouting forces ahead of the main Grand Fleet under Admiral Jellicoe. At Jutland the 2nd Cruiser Squadron came out of smoke and fog, straight under the guns of the main High Seas Fleet. The Squadron came under fire from about eight battleships. While the ships might have been called 'Armoured' cruisers, they were not armoured to take hits from battleships. Four of the Squadron were sunk. Warrior, Defence, Black Prince and Hussar. The loss of life was horrific, with neither side being able to get ships to be able to pick up survivors.

The Washington Treaty made the Armoured cruiser obsolete. Panagaea, through its Commonwealth connections, was a signatory to the various Naval Treaties. If the Dragoon was to be kept in service as a Training ship then it would need to be reduced in its capabilities to satisfy the Treaty rules. This took three stages as first the aft twin 10" and 6" turrets were removed, then the main deck casemates were removed and plated in to provide more cadet/training accommodation. 1930 and like a lot of other old ships it was finally given the Hangar and aircraft handling facilities aft to become an Area Defence Vessel and still act as a training ship. For another ten years the ship trained thousands of cadets for the fleet. World War Two and the ship was still doing its training duties around local waters as the main Fleet ships went east and west to join the European war either in the Atlantic or the Mediterranean. Pearl Harbour changed the Panagaean Navies dynamic. The local forces still in the Pacific (including any new ships completing) were subordinated to the Allied Pacific Fleet under US Navy leadership. The US requested the Dragoon to be based on Midway Island to be mothership to squadrons of Catalina flying boats. June 1942 and the Japanese attack on Midway sank the Dragoon.

Displacement 14,500 tons std, 16,700 tons full load
Length 435 ft
Breadth 72 ft
Draught 25 ft
Machinery 2 shaft, steam turbines, 24,000shp (16,000sp as ADV)
Speed 24 knots  (18 knots as ADV
Range 4000 miles at 10 knots
Armour 6" side, 2" deck, 5" turrets
Armament As completed

4 x 10" (2x2)
12 x 6" (1x2, 10x1)
10 x 4" LA (10x1)
As ADV to 1942

2 x 10" (1x2)
6 x 4" DP (6x1)
6 x 20mm (6x1)
Aircraft Nil 6 to 8 depending on size and type
Complement 580 - 615 as Flagship
Notes Dragoon - Sunk at Midway, June 1942.
Hussar - Sunk at Jutland, May 1916.


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